HELLO and welcome to the 306th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can know more about climbing Mount Everest!! This “columnwp_postsis less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.
The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.
Just a little announcement: going forward TIRTL is going to be a monthly column! I really enjoy doing it but I also want more space in my work-life for writing and more space in my actual life for reading books!
A Future with No Future: Depression, the Left, and the Politics of Mental Health, by Mikkel Krause Frantzen for The Los Angeles Review of Books, December 2019
The personalization of depression must be answered by a politicization of depression. At the level of analysis and social causation, the phenomenon of depression should be connected to issues of labor and work — and unemployment, since stats show that unemployed people are more susceptible to get depressed than people in jobs, regardless of how much these people hate their job. It should be connected to our brutal, neoliberal culture of competition (Happy Hunger Games and may be odd be ever in your favor!) and to the concomitant ideology of happiness, which forces all of us to smile and be happy nonstop, even or especially when we are fighting among each other, fighting to make ends meet and just get by another day. Depression should, moreover, be connected to the realm of education: it is obvious to me that so many of the students at the University of Copenhagen, where I work and teach, are struggling with countless mental illnesses. I cannot even begin to imagine how it must be in the United Kingdom or United States, where students don’t have the benefit of free education as is the case Denmark but are driven ever deeper into a spiral of debt. No matter where we look, students are depressed, anxious, stressed out, burned out.
How to Mend, by AJ Daulerio for The Small Bow, January 2019
Every time the scandal seemed to wane it gained more momentum, but I started to gain most of the attention–from magazines and book editors and TV producers–who all wanted to build ‘projects’ around my idiotic brand of ‘journalism.’ That was when the true self-loathing set in. All the stories about my unethical methods, left open-ended so the consumer could decide if I was a dirtbag or not, drove me into a deep depression and I classically self-medicated. I was ashamed, but all the success made it hard to repent.
Podcast Passivity, by Suzannah Showler for Real Life Mag, December 2019
If you’re a podcast person, you’ll know what this is like — how the media integrates with the conditions under which it’s heard, imprinting on a person’s memory like a double-exposure. The results are oneiric. I can remember a whale carcass sinking to the ocean floor in Toronto’s Dufferin subway station; a spat about the cultural significance of a Taylor Swift album tracking past boarded-up houses in Ohio that seemed to be shutting their eyes; a prison visitation room crackling with the static of fresh laundry.
The Sex Scene Evolves For The #MeToo Era, by Lizzie Feidelson for The New York Times, January 2020
I feel like this is not the first article I have read about intimacy coordinators but this one was extremely comprehensive and interesting, and it covers theater as well as film and television and talks to Kathryn Hahn!
The Night She Almost Killed You, by Carmen Maria Machado for The Cut, November 2019
I have been circling this book like a wolf for the moment when I’m ready to get into it because I fear it resembles certain aspects of a prior relationship of mine to a degree I am not sure I am ready to fully handle! Reading this was a baby step. She’s just… so good.
All these years of telling him he’s full of shit, that he needs to decolonize his mind and lose the gender essentialism, and here you are learning that lesbian relationships are, somehow, different — more intense and beautiful but also more painful and volatile, because women are all of these things too. Maybe you really do believe that women are different. Maybe you owe your father an apology. Dames, right?
The e-book Revolution Never Quite Came., by Constance Grady for Vox, December 2019
I forgot about a time when you could only read e-books on a kindle!
We Found Love in a Digital Place, by Emma Madden for The Outline, December 2019
Nostalgia for the old web generally and GeoCities specifically: where does it come from, why are we dwelling on it? I forgot about how people used to make websites just to talk about their own family??? Like remember when parents would do that, they’d send out emails to everybody and link to their “family webpage” where they’d put vacation pics and updates about their kids. Does anybody know what I’m talking about.
The Real Story of Sandy Hill Pittman, Everest’s Socialite Climber, by Jennet Conant for Vanity Fair, August 1996
The story of Sandy Hill Pittman, a socialite and mountaineer who became the second woman to climb all Seven Summits. She was caught in the blizzard dramatized by the 2015 film Everest and in John Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air. Krakauer had been sent to report on the commercialization of Everest and rich, inexperienced clients for Outside Magazine. Apparently this climb, which led to eight deaths, is a controversial one and this story was just one version of events. So that’s a k-hole you can get lost in for quite some time!
“The Real Housewives Of Atlantawp_postsShows How Impossible The American Dream Is, by Niela Orr for Buzzfeed, January 2019
I love reading sociopolitical analyses of reality TV shows I have never seen!